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The Economics Of Media

Economics of media

[The value you as an average American TV consumer represent - from the posts mentioned below]

Advergirl has written a series of short, provocative posts about Media in Crisis that I think you should probably go and read.

She's nailing something that we all know but perhaps like to ignore - the economic model that underlies the media industry is, to put it kindly, in flux.

As I pointed out in Content Republic, the binary opposition model of content monetization, ad supported or paid for, probably doesn't cover the entire possible gamut of commercially motivating models for the creation of content, but that said, most existing media owners have yet to truly explore significant alternatives.

This is possibly in part legacy thinking - content on broadcast commercial media was originally created by advertisers for the sole purpose of aggregating the right audiences to sell certain products to.

Content and commerce divided, for economics reasons, and since then the content creators and media channel owners have aggregated attention and then sold that on to advertisers.

A model which is clearly breaking down, for lots of reasons I've been talking about recently, to do with the end of media and content scarcity, the competition for attention that personal content from your friends constitutes, who are mostly creating stuff for 'free', and other drivers brought about by that thing we like to call 'digital'.

I was talking about this kind of thing at the Atomic Conference in Toronto last week and there were clearly two kinds of reactions to this change.

Those that accept change as already evident and embrace it, and those that said, well, 'digital' is just another channel to pump brands through and things are basically the same really, aren't they.

No, it isn't, and no, they're not.

Although change is neither as fast nor as slow as either group want to believe, I suspect.

Remarkably, this was on the very day that Canada's largest media conglomerate, Canwest, declared bankruptcy - if that isn't an indicator that media economics might need re-thinking I'm not sure what it.

Advergirl's excellent posts are below:

The Media Crisis: Part 1, Overview of an Implosion

The Media Crisis, Part 2: Publishers and Creators (working for scratch)

The Media Crisis, Part 3: Advertisers (looking for their lost sheep)

The Media Crisis, Part 4: Consumers (will people buy their eyeballs back?)

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